Wed, 28 Apr | Theory of Living Systems Webinar

Dr. Edouard Hannezo (IST, Austria)

Mechano-chemical models of organoid morphogenesis and collective migration

Time & Location

28 Apr, 5:00 pm AEST
Theory of Living Systems Webinar

About the Event


There is increasing evidence that both mechanical and biochemical signals play important roles in morphogenesis and collective cell migration. The development of complex organisms, in particular, has been proposed to rely on the feedback between mechanical and biochemical patterning events. However, integrating the two in a theoretical framework capable of making meaningful and quantitative predictions has remained challenging. Here, I will discuss two examples of our current efforts towards this. I will first present work on intestinal organoid morphogenesis, where we show that crypt/villus formation is orchestrated by cellular fate, creating patterns of mechanical and osmotic forces robustly shaping the organoid. I will then talk about how MDCK cells generate mechanochemical waves, and use them for symmetry-breaking/optimal long-ranged polarization in wound healing.

About the speaker

Dr. Edouard Hannezo is an Assistant Professor in at the Institute of Science and Technology (IST Austria) where he runs the Physical Principles in Biological Systems group. The Hannezo group is particularly interested in design principles and processes of self-organization in biology, at various scales, in close collaboration with cell and developmental biologists. Their methods include tools from solid and fluid mechanics, statistical physics as well as soft matter approaches. Examples of problems that the group is working on – at three different scales – include: 1) how do cytoskeletal elements, which generate forces within cells, self-organize to produce complex spatio-temporal patterns? 2) how do cells concomitantly acquire identities and shape a tissue during development? and 3) how does complex tissue architecture derive from simple self-organizing principles, for instance during branching morphogenesis (in organs such as the kidneys, mammary glands, pancreas, and prostate) as a prototypical example.

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